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Zhou admits F1 future DOUBTS amid Audi entry

Zhou admits F1 future DOUBTS amid Audi entry

Zhou admits F1 future DOUBTS amid Audi entry

Zhou admits F1 future DOUBTS amid Audi entry

The forthcoming arrival of Audi in Formula 1 is making Zhou Guanyu's contract renewal negotiations with Alfa Romeo 'not so easy', hindering the possibility of securing a multi-year agreement.

This marks the 24-year-old driver's second season on the grid with Alfa Romeo, a team currently transitioning to full works status under Audi ownership and control by 2026.

Zhou's rookie year at Alfa Romeo saw him finish 18th in the drivers' standings, with his veteran teammate Bottas taking the 10th spot.

Currently, Zhou's performance is on an upswing; he has advanced to 16th in the standings and is trailing closely behind Bottas, who now occupies the 15th spot.

This doesn't guarantee his future, however, as rumours suggest that there are challenges in the negotiations between the driver's Chinese backers and the complex new management at Sauber.

"Of course, that's the goal," Zhou suggested when Sky Germany asked about his desire to remain with his current team.

“But it’s not easy because of Audi coming in and all of these things, and they need a little more time. For me, it's obviously better to have a longer contract to be a little more relaxed than just getting a one-year contract.”

“There aren’t many vacancies left,” Zhou conceded, “so I’m very careful to stay where I am.”

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Albon reveals SECRET to his incredible defensive performances

Who else has been linked to the Alfa Romeo seat in the near future?

Zhou's assertion that there are few available seats left rings true, but an even more undeniable reality is the abundance of talented young drivers eager for a spot.

While the Chinese driver hopes to maintain his current position, others are equally hopeful for a drive and a chance to showcase their skills.

Speculation suggests that Sauber junior Theo Pourchaire is the leading contender to potentially succeed Zhou. Pourchaire has delivered outstanding performances in Formula 2, and his likely crowning as the Formula 2 drivers' champion this year only solidifies his candidacy.

Felipe Drugovich is one of two possible contenders

Another name that frequently comes up is Felipe Drugovich, the reigning Formula 2 world champion and a reserve driver for Aston Martin.

With Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso locked in for Aston Martin next year, Drugovich could potentially find himself sidelined in 2024. So it isn't outside the realm of possibilities that he has been shopping around for a vacant seat to take.

Securing a contract is crucial for the Chinese driver's career, even if it means settling for a one-year deal. A longer tenure ensures more opportunities to demonstrate that he's the ideal choice.

READ MORE: Aston Martin driver linked with SURPRISE Alfa Romeo move

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